Yes, thank you Lord family quality time, dinner, bath and bed time are complete. Late evening here in London and now and it’s time to get serious. We’ve just passed the mid-way point of National Novel Writing Month. I’m joining in for the second time. With all that’s happened so far this July, two books released in the space of one week of each other, it’s not surprising that I’ve had little time to work on my third addition to the Romance Set in Paradise series. I’m only 5,000 words into my target of now 20,000. This one’s a super short heartwarming yet steamy story set in Europe this time – Greece. With a more mature female lead.
I’ve been feeling writing stories set in a era that I love the 1950s- 1960s, especially since we used this era a bit over the last few months for The Suspenseful Collection Volume One, I’ve had my head stuck in this time frame. I particularly love the jazz scene I always have. Ya know when all those cool smoke filled jazz bars popped up. This style of music was just starting to kick in in the UK, from research we had our own take on the bebop style of music. I imagine women on stage with elegant dresses singing the blues, with piano and saxophone players in the background. I really like this era.
I’m writing this love story for my characters using flashback, something I have done before in stories to tell a tale, but not to this area.
Anyways, here’s an unedited little snippet of what I’ve got so far. All writers taking part this July, I hope your word count is doing better than mine! We’ve got two weeks to get stuck in… here goes tonight I am working on it as I plan to have a weekend free of writing and have some much needed fun and celebration two books released in one month? I deserve a drink!
Excerpt: Book #3 Romance Set in Paradise – I’m not tellin’ you the title yet! 🙂
1960 Maurice’s Place, Oxford Street Central London
Jane slightly lifts the hem of her elegant black dress as she steps down from the stage. The crowd cheer and clap, begging her for more. She just gave them all she had, while singing a very heartfelt version of Smokey Robinson’s Who is Loving You? As much as she wants to be up there on the stage again, with all eyes on her she must take a breather. Her voice would not last the full week if she keeps singing with such heart, without a rest. Heads turn and smiles come her way as she walks confidently through the crowds. Through the smoke-filled room she heads over to the bar and takes a seat.
“You did great up there, Jane you sounded amazing.”
“Why thanks Jenelle, that means so much coming from you.”
“I mean it, don’t sell yourself short. You should seriously think about coming back with us to New Orleans when we return. We could do with a blue eyed soulful sista.”
Jenelle playfully laughs and places an arm around Jane’s shoulders. A dry martin slides up between them. Jane is still not quite used to the star treatment she receives every time she sings over at Maurice’s Place. She ponders Jenelle’s proposal as she places a thin smoke in its holder. Jenelle fires a match for her to light her smoke. After the first satisfying drag, she leans back in the high backed bar stool and looks around.
Maurice’s place has felt like home to her for almost a year now. At just sixteen years old she left school with decent qualifications, then bummed around for two years deciding what to do with her life. At seventeen years old she scored her first stage role at Maurice’s Place. She works behind the bar three nights a week and spends the other two on stage.
New Orleans would be like a dream come true, she has always loved to sing, but only started to take it seriously over the last year. Maybe New Orleans could give her the big break she wants. The Jazz scene in London is starting to pick up, just a year earlier Ronnie Scott opened up a new Jazz room in Soho, but thoughts of being on stage in the USA leave Jane with a twinkle in her eye.
The lights in the room dip, hushing the crowds relaxing in the comfy sofas and high back chairs, sitting around small round tables. All eyes move to the centre of the room. A group of three men set themselves up on the stage. One lead singer, one saxophone player and one piano player. The smooth vocals of the male lead singer float through the air, Jane is mesmerised by his showmanship and voice. But it’s the saxophone player who piques her interest. She studies him as his skillful fingers move over the his instrument. He’s lost in the music, he pulls Jane in.
“So what do ya say Jane?”
The corner of Jenelle’s lips turn up slowly as she watches her friend under the spell of the musicians on stage. Jane’s eyes are fixed on the saxophone player, her smoke has long reached the end and burnt out. Yet she holds it posed between her fingers as if it’s still smouldering. Jenelle laughs to herself and moves her hand over Jane’s vision, to snap her out of her daze.
“Earth to Jane, earth to Jane anyone home?”
“Gosh, I’m sorry Jenelle, did you say something?”
“Look at you! All caught up in the music… or is it Mr. Sax player?”
Jane moves her eyes away from the stage, and joins in the girly laughing with her girlfriend. Tipping her burnt out smoke in the ashtray, she reaches for another one. Before she answers Jenelle’s question she studies Mr. Sax on stage playing his tune some more, and sips her martini.
“My, he’s handsome don’t ya think Jenelle?”
“More than handsome, he sure can play too.”
“Hmm, I’ve never seen this band before have you?”
“Not here no, they have played over at Ronnie Scott’s a few times. I was over there just last week. They brought the house down at Ronnie’s!”
Jane meets Jenelle’s eyes.
“ Really, they were over at Ronnie’s place. Gosh, I can imagine, they sound great.”
“You never answered my question, what about New Orleans? I’m serious.”
“Yeah, of course?”
“You think I could make it over there? Would I be welcome in your community Jenelle?”
“Jane, don’t worry about skin colour, it’s not about that it’s about the music, the voice, the stage presence. All of which you have honey, don’t let that racial segregation shit get to you.”
“Hmm I guess so, you’re right.”
“Plus, that Martin Luther King, he’s doing all he can to help everyone in the USA move forward.”
“You’re right, let me give it some thought.”
“You do that, I’d love you to come over.”
Both ladies smile at each other and toast their martini glasses.